E-Cigarette Controversy Pits Scientists Against World Health Organization

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E-CigaretteThe E-Cigarette controversy is on the verge of boiling over as scientists, health professionals, and everyday E-smoker supporters are being pitted against the World Health Organization and their efforts to classify E-Cigarettes alongside tobacco cigarettes as dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

E-Cigarettes, sales of which sky-rocketed over the past two years have become all the rage for smokers who are looking to give up unhealthy smoking habits, as well as  new smokers who are opting to try the vapors and E-Cigarettes in place of it’s cancer-inducing tobacco counterpart. Vaporizers; akin to smoking, is becoming the leader the smokeless trend. In Atlanta, a new specialized vapor shop carries over a hundred different varieties of vapor flavors. The vaporizers and E-Cigarettes have so vastly usurped tobacco sales, that it has prompted two of the largest cigarette manufactures;  Altria, Inc. and Reynolds American Inc., to launch their own brands of E-Cigarettes and Vapor products. The World Health Organization however, is set on the vilification these alternative smoking products – citing them as a threat and possible gateway product that would lead to other forms of substance abuse, which a global team of scientists are now rallying to dispute. The scientists and health professionals from Europe, American, Canada, Asia and Australia assert that the use of these new smokeless products can be more appropriately deemed a likely solution to health-related aspects of smoking, as opposed to a health detriment. These products, they’ve asserted, could possibly save hundreds of millions of lives. One of the scientific organizers; Gerry Stimson; emeritus professor at Imperial College London noted that he found The World Health Organizations stance on the matter to be “bizarre”, and noted that the scientific community wanted to make sure that they make sufficient noise before the matter gets too set in stone. Stimson was one of the organizers who served an open letter to the World Health Organization Director General; Margaret Chan, in opposition to their efforts against the smokeless community. The big tobacco companies as well, are standing in agreement alongside scientists.

Adding more fuel to the smokeless E-Cigarette controversy is campus-wide ban on cigarettes at Ohio State University that began in January of this year, that ultimately morphed into campus wide E-Cigarette ban, with the citation that E-Cigarettes still contain liquid nicotine. Nicotine, however is not present in all brands of E-Cigarettes, but concerns persist with regard to the availability of the E-Cigarette market to consumers of all ages including children. Dr. Peter Shields, a deputy director at Wexner Medical Center are among those concerned about child consumers, citing cigarette smoking as a disease that begins in adolescence, since so many smokers begin the life-threatening habit between the ages of 11 and 15. This falls in line with The World Health Organization’s insistence that E-Cigarettes serve as a gateway product to other life threatening substances. They’ll readily stick to their story against the band of scientists.

In Canada cease and desist orders were issued to sellers of the E-Cigarettes, citing that unsubstantiated health claims are being reported as the scientific community continues to be pitted against the agenda of The World Health Organization. It remains that sales continue to rise at record levels. In 2013 the sale of E-Cigarettes was estimated at 3 billion dollars.

By Janet Walters Levite

CBC Canada
Wall Street Journal
The Lantern

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